Respecting differences is rightfully Canada's claim to fame in the world, but that is not enough to guide this place to its fullest potential. Canadians cannot -- and should not -- embrace any particular race, language, or religion as their national marker, but they can and should embrace their country. Such an embrace constitutes a commitment to the people who share this land and, indeed, to the land itself. Canadians can put aside the fear that flying the Maple Leaf too high may yield a sudden intolerance in the ship's hull. It won't.
I've had people ask me if that's what I plan to do, as a bisexual person. But that's where the fact that being gay is only one part of me comes in. I'm also a staunchly patriotic Canadian. And I love the winter Olympics, a lot. There's a crossroads, here, for me. Because the delegation travelling from Canada to Sochi is also comprised of staunchly patriotic Canadians and talented athletes. Some of them happen to be gay. And I want to see them succeed.
I don't understand why we can't just let ourselves be what we are: a weird little country with issues. Like Belgium or Switzerland or something. That's a great thing to be! It makes people curious. It would fit us so much better. Just a funny, comfortable nation that happens to have national debates about things like cereal box fonts. Why do we need to be the sort of place whose flag is featured on beer shirts? I don't know if the world really loves Canadians. I'm not about to get wasted and tell it that. But we haven't pissed it off that much -- not yet. We're kind of under the radar, you know, arguing about street signs and putting gravy on things. It could be worse.
When someone raises a flag on Canada Day, sure, terrific. Bob and Doug forever. When it's time to honour our brave war veterans, no doubt, they're the champs. But when I attend a game to cheer on the local collection of rink-circlers, I don't feel it's a relevant or appropriate place for the anthem.